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Anhedonia clinical trials at UCSD

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  • Computational Cognitive Training To Boost Reward Responsiveness In Anhedonic Patients

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    Anhedonia, i.e., reduced positive mood and decreased sensitivity to rewards, is observed in many psychiatric illnesses, particularly depression and anxiety disorders. Untreated anhedonia predicts worse clinical outcomes and poorer response to treatment, yet cognitive behavioral treatment approaches to target anhedonia are fraught with poor patient compliance in real-life settings. The proposed study aims to address this gap by 1) testing the usefulness of a non-invasive, computationally informed, cognitive training in boosting reward sensitivity and reducing anhedonia in depressed and anxious patients, and 2) delineating the neurocomputational mechanisms of change associated with such intervention. In other words, can we train the brain to obtain rewards and boost positive mood among depressed and anxious individuals? This project will help to develop a computational training protocol aimed at reducing anhedonia and improving existing interventions for psychiatric conditions characterized by reward processing deficits. Long-term goals include expanding this framework to a broader range of appetitive and social stimuli to develop precise cognitive training tools to treat anhedonia.

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